I was reminiscing about my childhood and computers in comparison to what my own children have. How booting up the Vic20 and later the C128 and being presented with nothing more than a blue screen and a flashing cursor prompting me to type in some basic code. I could save that code to floppy or tape and play it back later. I remember spending hours going over programming books typing in line by line the code to make something cool happen.
Which takes me to what we have today, sure you can start programming on any modern day operating system, but I've always found creativity in constraints and I think a small OS that was dedicated to a programming language such as Ruby or Python would be good for kids to learn on and explore on. But nothing like this exists as far as I know.
I was thinking of a linux kernel, with python 3.0 as the shell. I'd keep the login system as it gives users a place to save their files to. The python shell would have to be an abstract of the python shell as you would need load, save, and run commands to reuse your existing code.
I there any interest in such a project, does one already exist?
UPDATE: Some great comments showing up on the post comments and on Hacker News! Thanks everyone for the feedback and info! I'll post a followup post in a few days.
UPDATE 2: Follow up post can be found here